Articles 

Lessons for church planters from the book of Ezra

I don’t know if I’ve ever consider the book of Ezra (also Nehemiah, Haggai & Zechariah) as helpful resources for church planters but a recent reading taught me a number of important lessons. First a  little bit of background; after years of rebellion Israel & then Judah are defeated by Nebuchadnezzar and carried off into exile in Babylon for 70 years. In that time Babylon is in turn defeated by the Persians. King Cyrus adopts a different strategy and resettled captive peoples back in their lands, where they will be subject to Persia.…

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Articles 

In Sweden who raises the children?

Sweden is often praised and is proud of its family friendly policies. Parents receive 480 days parental leave per child and 60 of them can only be taken by the father. Use it or lose it. These days can be claimed as part days or whole days until your child turns 8 years old. It’s generous, it’s flexible and personally I think it’s great. A father should spend time with his children. Sweden also has heavily subsidised child-care, pre-school or kindergartens (förskola) are, at least in comparison to the UK, ludicrously cheap. Schools…

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Articles 

3 ways to know what God is like

This is a question that crops up every now and then. How is God knowable and how do we know that God is like this and not like that. Historically the Christian faith has given three main ways of answering that question. Through what has been made, through what has been said and through the One who was sent. Through what has been made When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you…

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Reviews 

Book Review: The Rise of the Robots

The Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of Mass Unemployment by Martin Ford My rating: 3 of 5 stars If your job is any way routine and predictable the chances are that the answer is yes. It’s not just factory jobs that have been replaced by machines, but data analysis, taxi-drivers, and even doctors. The extensive list of areas & industries where computers and robots are increasing their presence is significant and sometimes unexpected. Even my own industry of journalism has seen an algorithm write efficient (but not…

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Articles 

Freedom to pray not to evangelize

Last year the BBC ran an article about religious freedom in Dubai of which there isn’t much. The UAE, of which Dubai is a part, has crippling restrictions on freedom of speech. There’s widespread media censorship and dozens of activists are in jail. And As you move around Dubai, you see no evidence of religion other than Islam. Churches cannot display crosses, and those who preach publicly or try to persuade Muslims to convert can expect jail and deportation. However, Dubai has created zones where Christians or Hindus can practice their…

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Articles 

Christians & Evolution

Christians often have a very confused relationship with scientific discoveries – we use them of course, but there’s a significant portion of evangelicals who become very sceptical especially when it concerns the origins of life. Tim Challies wrote The…reason I am a six-day creationist is that I believe this is what science tells us. I believe science confirms a literal six-day creation and a young earth. I find the science demanding millions or billions of years less compelling than the science supporting a much less ancient universe. Even though so…

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Articles 

Dealing with the tiebreaker

In a few recent discussions about complementarianism, the subject of the tiebreaker has come up. It seems to be something that puzzles egalitarians and complementarians alike. This from my review of Jenny Baker’s Equals When it came to marriage, the usual awful headship example was trotted out of some shouty moron demanding submission and the right to be the head of a household (p.79) as if that’s what we’re all really like. This was followed up the by the common complaint of why proponents of male headship in marriage are unable to make a decision in a…

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Articles 

Free will: illusion or reality?

How free are you? Free to choose what to watch on Netflix? Are you free to choose your height even if you are now free to choose your gender? You didn’t choose your genes whether they blessed you or cursed you – how responsible are you for the things you had no choice over? And how responsible are you if those things were a causal factor in the committing of a crime? Much of society is built upon the premise that an individual bears responsibility for his or her own…

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